• Solo • [The Glass Temple] The Sophist Guile

42nd of Ashan 721

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Woe
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Posts: 2371
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 6:46 am
Race: Mortal Born
Profession: Éminence grise
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[The Glass Temple] The Sophist Guile

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42nd of Ashan 721

The Glass Temple stood like a pillar constructed of gem-like glass, a prism through which Dawn's light shone in myriad colors on the surrounding plaza. Woe felt drawn there, not only by its beauty but by a feeling hard to define. A mysterious, atavistic allure that he couldn't quite place. He felt he'd been here before, but couldn't quite place the time or instance. He reasoned, in the end, that it reminded him of the chapels in Quacia, with their high, steeped red panes of glass and intricately engineered stonework. There was much to consider as he entered the Temple. He'd come to many conclusions over the past Cycle, not least of which was that he had to do something about the void in his soul. He'd conferred earlier, though his memory was inexplicably hazy, with the Priestess of the Webspinners. It was there that he'd learned what he wanted, which informed how he ought to be. Now, he only had to put that determination into practice and set it in stone so to speak.

Stan left him well enough alone, as he entered the chapel. Woe had his pick of Immortals to perform this rite under. While he respected Chamadarst and was a devoted servant, he didn't feel his patron would appreciate or care if Woe sought to balance himself out. So, he took a look around, at the many cloisters available. In the middle cloister, he saw that of Gwelliph, of Pier and Pre. Twin Immortals, each the opposite of each other representing balance through their opposition to each other. Each doling out justice at the end to souls, in their turn. Woe thought it apropos that he turn the page under their watchful gaze. If anyone ought to be a witness to them, it was the Twins of Gwelliph.

So, he sat between their statuaries and considered his life up until that point. The pivotal moment, when he'd been initiated, and subsequently fell apart as the Empathy tore his soul to etheric ribbons, with he suffering one indignity and misfortune after another. Some of them, or to be honest, most of them self-inflicted. Woe uttered the words to Pier and Pre, whispering them into the empty air. Not in hopes that they'd respond, but if only for them to listen.

He recounted the many episodes that precipitated his decline into arcane turmoil. Of Brigantia, the old Webspinner who'd initiated him into his first magics. How he'd lost Werthom, through the folly of bringing her on a field trip to the Underground, a shop of poisons. He told them of his misadventures surrounding the enigmatic Llyr Llywelyn, and his mistress Emilia Enners. How he'd lost his soul to a prostitute, through an ill-advised initiation during the heights of ecstasy. Emilia had torn a void into his tangle then, ripped the emotion of love and romance from his soul, and consumed it to power her own tangle.

Woe recalled to Pier and Pre the chief three instances where he'd turned his back on his mother, Sintra, how he'd blasphemed his own Immortal parent for the sake of mortal attachments. Rebuking Sintra, only to come full circle back into her embrace.

Yet he was aware of who he sat before. The Twins knew him, they knew his transgressions and deeds, his virtues and vices, his strengths and weaknesses, his merits and demerits. He had no illusions toward deceiving the Immortals governing the sphere of Deception and Truth. Judgment at the middle. And Equality above all.

Woe dispensed with the recounting of his every transgression and focused on who he wanted to be, how he wanted to be. That was the focus of today's exercise. He was here to not only heal his tangle but to set himself in such a way that aligned with his goals. In such a way that allowed him to be who he wanted to be. So he bowed his head before the statuary of the two and reflected on the ability bestowed upon him by Lovalus.



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Woe
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Re: [The Glass Temple] The Sophist Guile



Gradually, as he envisioned himself as he wished to be, Woe brought his forefingers to each temple, and began the process.

There wasn't so much of a gap between who he wished to be, and who he was, truth be told. Did that make him a narcissist? For a moment he was distracted by a thought on the critiques that Llyr had leveled on him once upon a time. He'd said many things to Woe, of Woe. But one thing stood out among them all. Yet it was a vague criticism. That Woe was 'hopeless'. Hopeless in what way? It was hard to identify, given the lack of context and understanding that the Mortalborn possessed. Woe discarded it as the flippant comment that it was. Besides, he wasn't here to please Llyr. The former had already made it clearly apparent that Woe wasn't important to him.

Woe thought on the sins that had brought him to his current wounded state. Rent asunder by the loss of a child. The refusal of responsibility. The feckless pursuit of a harlot in Etzos' streets. Losing a part of his soul to the ill-done initiation of said harlot. His failure to his mother, the rebuke, and the curse. He wished to be loyal... to himself above all. And wouldn't that please his mother? To no longer tag along at her skirts, and make his own path to power and influence. It would be a long and winding way, so Woe dampened impatience without stifling it. Impatience had its place when time was of the essence, so he mustn't do away with that entirely.

He didn't wish to be ruled by his emotions, although he had need of them. All of them. Loveless, he couldn't make others love him. Cold and detached, he wouldn't be able to make them loyal to him. He would have to repair the part of his tangle that allowed him to feel such connections again. But that would wait until the very end. When he had a clear vision of who he wished to be.

Woe searched his own tangle, as he reached into the depths of his mind. Rooting around in his mind, he found remembrances that were long forgotten, yet had influence on who he'd become. He couldn't dwell on failure, that much was a clear flaw that he'd suffered. Especially for Erastus's ham-handed influence in his life. The old tanner had done him a disservice in making him contrite for petty errors and sins. He would purge Erastus's slave collar, for once and all. He was not a slave, he would take responsibility for himself henceforth.

There were of course many parts that he wished to preserve in his personality. His honesty, his ability to see things objectively from the ground level. His pragmatism was precious to him, and one of the things he enjoyed most about being himself. Woe enjoyed his stoicism, his blank affect which hid his true thoughts and emotions so well behind a mask of indifference.

Having set the majority of his current traits, as things he wouldn't tamper with, he began his work in earnest. He brought his hands to his temples, and began invoking the Sophist Guile of Lovalus. Suddenly, there was confusion in his mind, as it began weaving and reordering itself, from the soul level, from the level of the tangle. Old broken threads were mended, new ones formed and woven in such a way to solidify the damage that'd once been done.

As it went along, Woe fortified his new psyche with the act of Embroidery to fine tune the changes, and then Hemming and knotting them in to strengthen the changes against the chaos that was flowing through his mind.

It was a strange sensation, like waters washing over his mind, cool at turns and warm at others, sometimes neither but sinking deep into the woven strands of his tangle, like so much rich dye. The fissures in his tangle were repaired, pulled together and replaced which had once been lost. All at once, Woe was whole again, and he thanked Lovalus for her gift, and the second chance it presented. While he was not guiltless or without sin, he would no longer be haunted to such a degree that it would paralyze him. He was his own person now, with responsibilities, loyalties and loves, yes loves all his own. He loved his dog, he loved Breen, he even loved Iago and Soraia. It was almost overwhelming, to be overcome with so much of the lost emotion that it nearly threatened to confuse him for a moment, before he pulled it together with the sheer force of will, purging also the mage's thirst that had bedeviled him for seasons. He would no longer hunger for souls.

He relinquished his hold over his tangle then, with the techniques he'd used to fortify it. One by one, he tested the integrity of the new strands, strumming up love and concern. They were not overbearing or destructive as they had once been, but were now making him whole, one again... No complete for perhaps the first time in his life.

Although it meant there were consequences should he go against his creed, or should he fail in his self-vigilance, he was free.

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Re: [The Glass Temple] The Sophist Guile

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Review Rewards

Name: Woe

Points awarded: 10xp
Magic xp: 10 xp (can be used for Empathy)

Knowledge:
Discipline: x 2
Empathy: Embroidery: Reordering and contextualizing your own emotional threads, very carefully.
Empathy: Hem: Hemming and knotting in the changes, to fortify them.
Empathy: Knotting the changes just loosely enough so the tension doesn't snap them entirely.
Empathy: Embroidery: Reordering the personality in tandem with Lovalus' boon of Sophist Guile.

Loot/Losses:
A repaired tangle, he loses one maybe two corruptions (Psf ticket noted and checked)
A personality adjustment, as described in the thread.

I'm also nominating you for the following medal:

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Right In The Feels: Awarded to those who write a Tear-Jerker

Please link this review in "Medal Nomination Thread" when you submit the nomination.


Skill Review: All Skills used appropriate to level

Notes:
As threads go, this is a heavy one, but in regards to the character, I think it's one of the best you've ever written across all characters. The impacted tangle has haunted Woe for a while now as he tries to figure out what he wants in life. It's taken him time and effort to get to this place and I think it is well-deserved.

Woe is an awkward guy that struggles to understand himself in regards to relationships...but he wants to fix that and gain a greater understanding. Who can't relate to that? He sees the bridge between who he is and who he wants to be and is a bit hesitant because change can be a scary thing. That's realistic and genuine....and in the end, he does it anyway because Woe isn't a coward. He wants to be better. That's what sets him apart from others.

Additionally, I've nominated you for the "Right In the Feels" medal. All along, Woe has simply wanted to find appreciation and acceptance and it's been a bumpy journey, but he never gave up. This thread allows him to continue that journey and it was really moving to me.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding this review, feel free to PM. Enjoy your rewards!

Avalon

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